Cloth diapers, that is.
If you find that you are stripping your diapers on a regular basis then there is something wrong with your wash routine. Stripping cloth diapers is usually a last resort reserved for mishaps such as diaper cream, too much detergent, ammonia build up, or disinfecting diapers that were either bought used or after a yeast rash.
I belong to several cloth diapering groups and see so many people stripping their diapers on a monthly basis, if not more often. I have stripped my diapers one time in almost three years so I don’t understand this. I can only guess that people think that any time their diapers smell they need to be stripped. Yes, there are occasions when it may be necessary but stripping diapers should not be part of your cloth diaper wash routine.
Reasons to strip your diapers may be:
- Diaper rash cream left behind
- Ammonia build up (which isn’t the same as a stinky overnight diaper)
- You bought used diapers and don’t know how the person before you cared for them
- You accidentally used too much detergent for your load size or washing machine type.
My diapers stink. Don’t I have to strip them?
Maybe, but honestly, probably not. In my experience if your diapers stink you may just need to use more detergent. The amount of detergent that I have seen recommended doesn’t make much sense to me. I have seen one company recommend 1 to 1½ TEAspoons of detergent to clean diapers soaked in urine and feces. Regardless of what kind of detergent you choose to use, just use the recommended amount on the detergent’s package for your load size and make adjustments for your water type if needed.
Other problems could be not enough water in the case of a front loading HE washing machine or water that isn’t hot enough. Hot water kills bacteria and if your water isn’t hot enough then it could be part of the issue. The bottom line is this: do some troubleshooting of your wash routine first before reaching for that bottle of blue Dawn.
A note about ammonia build up: If your diapers still smell like ammonia after washing them then you likely just need more detergent. If you’ve increased the amount of detergent and are using enough water and your diapers still smell of ammonia then you may have build up. In that case you could soak them in an ammonia treatment or strip them.
Do you still think you need to strip your diapers?
Please remember that these are my opinions based on my personal experience and laundry conditions. Your experiences may vary.